Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies

Tribe

Skokomish

New!Should Tribes Legalize Marijuana?

Author:Amber Seachord and Barbara Leigh Smith

Marijuana legalization has been gaining momentum in the United States in recent years, yet heated controversies continue to surround the issue. The central focus of this case is on the question of whether tribes should legalize marijuana.  The case begins by briefly describing the history of marijuana, what is known about its impact, and the changing policies at the state and federal level. It then discusses the various ways tribes are exploring the “opportunity,” the ways they might become involved in the marijuana business, and the pros and cons of various forms of tribal involvement.  

Native Fishing Practices and Oxygen Depletion in Hood Canal

Author:Cole, Robert S.

This case examines the contribution of dumping chum salmon carcasses into Hood Canal to the lowering of dissolved oxygen in the Canal. A report by the Puget Sound Action Team and the Hood Canal Coordinating Council studied the contribution of different factors to low dissolved oxygen levels in Hood Canal. This report presented the Skokomish Tribal Nation with a potential public relations issue regarding their traditional practices of dumping the chum salmon carcasses into the Canal. Students are challenged to discuss recommendations about what actions the Skokomish Nation should take based upon the findings of the report, upon issues of economic impact on tribal fishers, and upon issues of equity in addressing environmental problems.

Tribal Response to Climate Change and the Evolving Ecosystem of Hood Canal: Learning from the Past to Plan for the Future

Author:Brian Footen

Hood Canal is a fjord forming the western arm of Puget Sound, Washington. Climate change has had a major influence on Hood Canal and the original indigenous people. Currently another major climactic shift is taking place in the region. Humans are forced to respond to changes in the ecosystem they inhabit. This case explores the relationship of paleo, archaic and modern native people to the past and present evolving ecosystem of Hood Canal. Cultural and economic adaptation will require utilizing political tools to try and reduce the impacts to the environment as well as recognizing new natural resource based economic opportunities.

River Flow for Riparian Health

Author:Robert S. Cole

For more than eighty years the Skokomish Nation on Hood Canal in Washington State has been in dispute about the diversion of the North Fork of the Skokomish River for a hydroelectric project. The diversion of the North Fork’s flow left no water downstream, which negatively impacted the salmon population that the Skokomish had traditionally fished. The attempts to relicense the two dams on the North Fork resulted in a protracted legal struggle that is still ongoing. However, Tacoma Power (owner of the dams) agreed in March of 2008 to release a fraction of the water that they had been diverting, and agreed to release this water in a constant flow. The manner in which water is released from a dam on a river has a huge impact on the downstream health of the riparian system. This case will examine constant flow and variable flow options for release of water from dam on the North Fork of the Skokomish River. It is a case about making Tribal judgments based on scientific approaches.